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med student looking to go to grad school for CS


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Hi, I'm currently in between my 2nd and 3rd year of medical school (M.D.) and I'm having a bit of a career crisis. I mainly went to medical school because I was worried to death about job security - my parents own a clinic, and I have a job waiting for me there as soon as I get licensed (which would be 2 more years of school + 3 to 6 years of residency). However, I've found that my heart is not really in this job... I really don't like working with sickness, blood and guts all day. As a result I've done pretty terribly in school, but haven't failed out yet.

What I've always enjoyed doing was working with computers. I am the stereotypical "computer geek". I really enjoy coding. I'm excited by anything related to computers. I've learned a lot of it on my own, but I have no formal degree or education in CS, other than two introductory classes I took in college, and one I took this summer.

I'm thinking of changing careers, or maybe finishing my degree and then trying to work in the computer field instead of in a clinic, but I don't know anything about the field, how to get started, how to get into grad school, etc. My friends in the field are scaring me into staying in medical school telling me that their jobs are miserable and unstable. Is this true? If I were to finish my M.D. education, could I use that to get a job somewhere in the computer industry, maybe in medical software? Would I need to also do a (3-4 year) residency so I can get licensed?

If I want to quit now and pursue a career in CS, how would you suggest going about it? Based on my google research I haven't found any grad programs that will take me with only 3 classes of background (understandably). Is there any way I can get the required classes without re-applying to undergrad college ( I don't even know if this is possible)?

Any advice you can give me would be appreciated, including if you think this is a terrible idea, and I should sack up and stick with the career I chose. I don't really have anyone I can go to for professional advice, as the advisors in my school are clueless about anything other than medicine.


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My wife is in medical school and I really recommend staying and sticking it out. You can always change your career paths but you're probably experiencing some burnout. MD is the strongest degree in the US, you're not going to ever finish it unless you do it now! You can always change your career later.

Good luck!

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